NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is urgently advising that they raise the penalty for resisting arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Police officers detain a Occupy Wall Street activist in New York. Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP
(ANTIMEDIA) 2 days ago, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton pushed state legislators to consider raising the penalty for what could be considered the most useful tool at the disposal of police — resisting arrest. He is urgently advising that they raise the penalty for resisting arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony.
He said the raise in penalty would ensure that New York residents “get around this idea that you can resist arrest. You can’t.”
“You must submit to arrest, you cannot resist …The place to argue your case is in the courts, not in the streets.”
Several news outlets recognized the audacity of this plea for harsher laws, a Gawker article sporting the headline ‘NYPD Has a Plan to Magically Turn Anyone It Wants Into A Felon’. A Vox article has the headline ‘The NYPD chief supports harsher penalties for resisting arrest. That’s a horrifying idea.’
Can you just imagine what would happen if ‘resisting arrest’ were made a felony? We’re at a point of intense contrast between the perspectives of the different unspoken sects of American people — some of us completely, vehemently oppose the police state and prison system. Others believe the exact opposite, and don’t care to hear about the thousands killed by police or anything along those lines. But the prospect is truly frightening; you could become a felon simply for not allowing the police to physically abuse and kidnap you even is you are completely innocent. Charging innocent people with misdemeanors for resisting arrest is Orwellian enough as it is.
I doubt it will actually be made a felony, unless the US government actually wants to instigate an armed revolution. Let’s just say for the sake of healthy speculation, that this were signed into federal law. Hypothetically speaking, would it not push the people of America to a boiling point? How could the prisons get even more full without some extreme events transpiring?
This NYPD commissioner must have no knowledge of what happens when the consequence is raised for a crime. Statistically speaking, raising the intensity of punishment for a given crime only increases the prison population. Does NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton not understand that the US has the largest population/percentage/ratio of people incarcerated of any regime in recorded history? Maybe he only wants more power and has no regard for the actual efficiency and purpose of such a measure? That’s really not improbable.
Whether the legal consequence is mild or intense for a crime, in almost every single instance of change in law the rate of people committing that crime stays the same.
The examples are endless. There’s statistical evidence showing that the ‘Three Strikes’ law did not lower the frequency at which crimes were committed. The only thing that happens when a government increases the intensity of punishment for a crime, or creates mandatory minimum sentencing laws, is the prison population increases. People ‘committing crimes’ tend to do what they do regardless — from the worst violent criminals to your average weed smoker.
Quite frankly, this recognition of the non-effectiveness of ‘criminal justice’ should sound extremely redundant.
So the real question is: what will the consequences of the continued advancement of the police state actually be? When will a boiling point be reached, and what will happen at this point?
Even if the move would prevent crime (which it undeniably wouldn’t), it is painfully obvious to everyone that police here abuse their power to every extent that they can. Not only that, but the extent that they can abuse their power seems to be increasing. While almost 100 people died at the hands of police in January, not one cop was killed.
2014 was a year when the bubble of rage against the police state burst. Masses of people took to the streets everywhere and did what they could to hold the police accountable; not just in the US, but also in Mexico in completely different circumstances.
Needless to say, out of over a thousand people killed by police last year I can only think of one incident where an officer got charged — one of the horrific incidents of the year, where a homeless man was killed by police in Albuquerque. Unfortunately, efforts to hold police accountable ultimately were apparently not enough. I hope you don’t find this to be disheartening because the struggle is not hopeless. Progress is being made in police accountability, but these moves by the NYPD show their desperation.
What course of action should activists and concerned citizens take to change this? One thing is for sure, just talking about it does nothing but inform people that we have a problem as a society. Informing people is no doubt vitally important, reporting the news and having a pristine and clear perspective of the world you are living in.
Though the truth is that people who understand these issues have to put constant, hard effort into taking away the government’s power to do the tyrannical and downright inhumane things they are doing. This type of individual is commonly referred to as an activist.
Please share this with as many people as possible, as it is a significant piece of information to understanding the path that police in America will go next, and what concerned people can do to influence and change that direction.